Posts Tagged ‘portugal’

Grandola Vila Morena, Portugal 2013

March 6, 2013

I just received an e-mail, saying that this poem has been chosen to be included in an anthology of Human Rights Poetry published by the School of Advanced Study at the University of London and will be launched at the Bloomsbury Festival in October 2013!

A myriad of petals is thrown into the air,
As if in homage to greed and corruption.
We rise up at the feet of our leaders,
They will slip on our carnation revolution.

They will slip on our carnation revolution
We rise up at the feet of our leaders.
As if in homage to greed and corruption,
A myriad of petals is thrown into the air.

Em cada esquina um amigo
Em cada rosto igualdade.
On each corner a friend
In each face, equality.

In each face, equality
On each corner, a friend.
Em cada rosto igualdade
Em cada esquina um amigo.

Millions are singing our tune;
We shudder the seats of power.
We, the masses, are rising once more,
In the spirit of nineteen-seventy-four.

In the spirit of nineteen-seventy-four,
We the masses are rising once more.
We shudder the seats of power;
Millions are singing our tune.


Also included in my short collection of political poems – Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu. (£4 pbk, £2.50 pdf e-book. All proceeds go towards the Socialist Party to help build a fightback against austerity internationally). – link to the Committee for a Workers International organisation in Portugal.

Grandola Vila Morena was one of the few songs by Zeca Alfonso, which wasn’t banned by the fascist regime of Estado Novo. As a result, it was sung as a signal to start the 1974 Carnation Revolution. This poem mimics the structure of the song, and is relevant today as hundreds of thousands of people in Portugal’s main cities – Porto and Lisbon – protest against austerity.

Protesters interrupting the Prime Minister of Portugal

The video is of protesters interrupting Portugal’s Prime Minister by singing the song. Watch him squirm!

The struggle is joy

May 25, 2011

I got a lovely CD single in the post all the way from Portugal. It is the vibrant Portuguese Eurovision entry – the struggle is joy. Sadly, it didn’t make it to the final in Dusseldorf, but I think it was a hugely refreshing change from the usual bland, Eurovision entries.

The song is a celebration of the 1976 Carnation revolution, which overthrew the ultra right-wing dictatorial regime in Portugal. It speaks of the young and the old coming together in struggle to win a better society and is hugely relevant, given the debt crisis across Europe at the moment.

A Luta E Alegria – The struggle is joy

Often you feel hopeless,
Often you distrust.
Often you worry,
Often you despair.

It’s no use to pull the belt ever tighter,
It’s no use to moan about life,
It’s no use to feel sad and down,
It’s no use getting angry to help you go on.

By day or by night – the struggle is joy
The masses march on, they are shouting in the streets.

Bring us bread, bring us cheese, bring us wine!
Young and old, fight together
Bring us bread, bring us cheese, bring us wine!
Young and old, fight together
Let’s celebrate and sing against oppression.

Many are those that say “Be careful”,
Many are those that wish to shut you up.
Many are those who make you uncertain,
Many are those who would sell the air we breathe.

La luta continua!

In Greece and Ireland, the party I belong to, the CWI (Committee for a Workers’ International) has put forward the idea that we should right off debts owed by the government. We can’t trust the IMF bailouts, as they inevitably come with a slash and burn approach to public services.

The only answer is for mass movements of ordinary people to take action to defend jobs and services, to fight back against austerity cuts and unite in strikes and in a political voice for ordinary people. In a small way, the Socialist Party is beginning to do this in Britain through TUSC – but we need this to grow rapidly if we are to defeat the Con-dem cuts.